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240          MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

This tender feeling for the trees is repeated in the last stanza:

Weak and tender is the willow next door.

Like a fifteen-year-old maiden's waist.

Who would have thought this morning that it happened,

The wind did break its longest bough, its best!

Once more, the willows dancing gaily before the wind are
referred to as abandonee, and the peach blossoms which care-
lessly drop and float on the water wherever it might cany
them are regarded as women of fickle character in the fifth

I deeply rue the passing of spring,
And on a cane I pace the scented isle.
Before the winds dance the wanton willows,
And on the water the petulous petals smile.

This pantheistic outlook sometimes loses itself in a sheer
delight in contact with worms and flying insects as in the third
stanza. But we may take an example from a Sung poet, Yeh
Li, who wrote on A Scene in Late Spring:

Pair by pair, little swallows on the bookshelves hop.
Dot by dot, little petals on the ink-slab drop.
Reading the Book of Changes I sit near a window,
Forgetful how much longer spring will with us stop.

This subjectivity of outlook, coupled with an infinitely
tender feeling for the birds and animals, enables Tu Fu to
speak of the "clenching fists" of white egrets resting on the
sand-bank, and of the "striking fins" of jumping fish near his
boat. And here we see the most interesting point in Chinese
poetry—the Einfuhlung. The use of the word "fists" for the
egrets3 claws is then not merely a literary metaphor, for the
poet has so identified himself with them that he probably feels
the clenching himself and wishes his readers to share this
emotional insight with him. Here we do not see the scientist's
minute observation of details, but rather the poet's keenness